The biggest loss of not having a very good memory is perhaps that
it is difficult to remember your old days. I remember my early
school days only in pictures . On really thinking hard,I see
myself as a 5 year old riding a toy horse ,trying to sleep on the
huge carpet in the classroom . But the fear that I would be left
alone once I sleep never let me enjoy a nap in my nursery
classroom. Then I remember getting 99% in 2nd class,
but being sad because my best friends got full marks.These are
just glimpses of the past. Till the 5th grade, there's
no complete memory…..except one….. when it was the first time I
had a crush,or perhaps was in love,for I have never known the
difference between the two.
I remember only one day of my 3rd class…..the first
day…..and only one part of it…..the morning assembly. Morning
assembly was the time when we first got to meet our friends after
entering the new class,only 3 topics were discussed on the first
day….new students….previous class result……and the new homeroom
teacher. I joined in the conversation my friends were having
about the new entries.
"he's so thin,even I can beat him without any help" said
"what's his name?"somebody asked,I don't remember who did.
"pulkit" came the reply.
The conversation went on for some time,as we had come early for
the assembly so the we could discuss everything about the new
class. Most students were wearing new dresses,including me….with
my hair well oiled and combed ,new knickers,long enough to touch
the knees,new socks,a pair of shoes shining brightly to show that
they were also new,and most importantly,a new spotless shirt. I
have never dressed better than this all my life , not yet.
"make your lines"our sports teacher shouted from the stage ,with
a mike in his hand.We began to align ourselves. It was then that
I got the first glimpse of her, beautifully dressed in a pink
frock,her hair well tightened to form a ponytail,she was the most
amazing sight of beauty I had ever seen,and that is perhaps the
reason I'll always remember that morning assembly.We formed the
line height-wise,and the different sections of a class stood next
to each other.She was standing in between 3A-my section and
3B,the next section, clueless about what to do,as she was new to
the school. "Come to 3A,come to 3A" I kept whispering,praying to
god that she would come to 3A. But she had other plans,as she
chose 3B. My heart drowned, I did not know why,because till
then,all we knew about boys and girls was that they were
enemies,and boys were better than girls.Now,I think,that for me
this was the time the enimosity ended.
I stood in my line,devastated that she was in 3B.Just before the
assembly began,our homeroom teacher joined in.
"she's Poonam Bhatnagar"himanshu whispered to me from behind,"the
most cruel teacher you'll ever see".It looked so,from her
face.She looked like a wicked witch,and I made it a point to stay
away from her as much as possible.
The prayer began, with class 9th music choire singing
a prayer written by our hindi teacher. I was not interested,for
my dream girl stood just a few yards away from me.I tried to stop
myself from looking at her again and again,but had no control
over my eyes. Then I saw mrs Poonam bhatnagar asking her if her
name was Maya Fetcher. She replied in positive,and at once I got
to know her name,Maya Fetcher. The prayer ended at that moment
and we went through a small round of "stand-at-ease" and
"attention" at the command of our sports teacher. My face again
turned towards Maya and I saw that our homeroom teacher was still
talking to her.
"you are standing in the wrong line,child"she said,"you are in my
There, the witch became my angel.
The next memory I have is neither of 3rd class,nor of
the 4th. I don't exactly remember what happened during
those two years,all I I know is that I had started talking to
Maya and now she was my friend.Also,that many other boys had the
feelings for her as I did. She was now the reason of a
competition between the boys,to prove to her that they were the
best match for her.Nobody ever said anything to anyone else,but
everyone knew everything.Maya seemed to enjoy it,she had made
friends with all the boys who liked her.
I have always told everyone that 5th class was my best
year,but with time I have forgotten all the small reasons,but I
do remember the biggest reason : I had won the so-called
"competition" between the boys.
It happened on the last day of our final exams of 5th
class that I first heard the sentence which I have had to use
very frequently from that time. "I need to talk to you" Maya had
said at the end of the last exam.I was standing in the school
ground with my two best friends and I felt a little embarrassed.
We were still in 5th class ,and a girl wanting to talk
to a boy in private was a "strange" thing.Nikhil gupta and
Pulkit,my friends,decided to leave us alone.
"let's go there,under that tree" Maya said to me,pointing towards
I agreed and there we were,standing under that tree.
"so?"I said,wondering what she had to say.
"Sukrit just told me that you like me"she said,stressing on each
word,except Sukrit.Sukrit was a boy from 3B.
I was shocked to hear this,my entire body was heating up,and ears
were burning.It was the most embarrassing moment of my life.
"what?"was the only word I could say,how could Sukrit have
known,was one of the thing I was wondering about.
"He said you like me"she repeated,"is that true?"
I did not know what to say,my brain wasn't working,and this was
the time I got to know that I was a coward.
"well,you know Sukrit is a bad guy,you should not listen to him"
I said to Maya,hiding my feelings,even though it was the right
time to express them.
"I don't know about that"Maya replied,"I have a more important
thing to say"
"what?" I asked,expecting another shocker
"I like you",we were too young to use the word "love" or "crush"
at that time.Now even children of 1st class use these
words,but it wasn't the same back then.
As much as I wanted to,I had never expected to hear these words
from her . I felt myself shaking at the knees.No words came out
from my mouth,all the joy and happiness was there,but no words.
"so?do you like me?"she asked,after waiting for my answer.Still
She waited for some seconds.
"ok Deepak, you can answer me after the hols"she said. It was
overwhelming for both of us,it's just that she knew how to deal
with it, I did not.
"I think that's Jennifer coming to me"she said,pointing to a girl
about 20 yards away from us,"you may go now Deepak"
I turned ,and walked two or 3 steps before breaking into a
run,and with all my power, I ran. It did not matter to me where I
was going,as far as I could feel the air beating on my face,the
feeling of a winner all over me,it was the first time I had won
in the big world,without any support from my parents or anyone
else,unaware of the fact that I was still one tiny little step
away from Love.
"so,what did she say?" Nikhil asked,as I went back to my two
"nothing" I replied
"nothing important"I lied,for her words were the most important
thing at that time.
I did not meet Maya for the rest of the day.The next day,holidays
began and they continued for 12 more days after that.I spent most
of my time thinking, not about what to say,but about how to say
it…..how to accept a proposal.
Our school reopened on 18th of March.I was really
excited, "it's time to express your love",I said to myself. Maya
came to me in the first lecture itself and sat next to me.We
talked a little,I knew she was expecting me to answer her
proposal,but somehow,whenever I tried to talk about it,my mouth
would not open.
She was very patient though,and waited for me to speak,but I just
could not talk about love.
At the end of the day,I still could not tell her that I loved
her.It continued for the rest of the week,I kept avoiding her,
and we hardly spoke.I had concluded that I was unable to say
"yes" because I had no idea what was going to happen
afterwards,and feared what would shape up. Another thing that I
feared was that she would draw her own conclusion of the
situation and assume that my answer was in negative,which was not
true.I desperately wanted to tell her that I loved her.
Maya waited patiently for a week,but then, she came to me during
"I need to talk to you"she said,clearly looking upset.
"Deepak,I want to tell you that you are my very good friend,and
whatever I said at the end of the exams was an april fool prank"
Now, I might always have been a coward,but I was never a fool.I
understood that my fear had come true , 1st of april
was still a week away.
"I knew"I said,with a little smile on my face,"I always knew"
For all those willing to know,I eventually was able to shed away
my fear,and propose Maya 4 years later, at the end of
9th class,and I did not have to wait for the answer.